Show ContentsHanmer History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Welsh name Hanmer comes from the name of the parish of Hanmer, which was in the diocese of St. Asaph, in the county of Flint. 1

Early Origins of the Hanmer family

The surname Hanmer was first found in Flintshire (Welsh: Sir y Fflint), a historic county, created after the defeat of the Welsh Kingdom of Gwynedd in 1284, and located in north-east Wales, where the Hanmer family held a seat from early times as Lords of the manor of Hanmer in that shire, from about the year 1250.

The first to bear this name was Sir John of Macclesfield who was Constable of Carnarvon Castle who assumed the name of Hanmer from his mother's family, his mother being an heiress of Hanmer. The original family name is said to have been Mackfel, but this is thought to have been merely a corruption of Macclesfield. It is more likely that they are direct descendants of Tudor Trevor through David Ap Dai Madoc, through David Voel of Hanmer, grandson of Sir John Hopton of Bettisfield, who is claimed to be the lineal male ancestor of the Hanmers of Hanmer.

"Holbrook Hall, in the parish [of Little Waldfield in Suffolk] is the seat of a branch of the Hanmer family." 2

Early History of the Hanmer family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hanmer research. Another 178 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1332, 1370, 1387, 1420, 1543, 1574, 1575, 1584, 1590, 1598, 1604, 1606, 1612, 1615, 1624, 1628, 1629, 1640, 1659, 1669, 1677, 1678, 1687, 1701, 1714, 1715 and 1746 are included under the topic Early Hanmer History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Hanmer Spelling Variations

Although there are comparatively few Welsh surnames, they have a great many spelling variations. Variations of Welsh names began almost immediately after their acceptance within Welsh society. In the Middle Ages, it was up to priests and the few other people that recorded names in official documents to decide how to spell the names that they heard. Variations that occurred because of improper recording increased dramatically as the names were later transliterated into English. The Brythonic Celtic language of Wales, known by natives as Cymraeg, featured many highly inflected sounds that could not be properly captured by the English language. Spelling variations were, however, also carried out according to an individual's design: a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations were all indicated by the particular variation of one's name. The spelling variations of the name Hanmer have included Hanmere, Hanmare, Hanmair, Hanmer, Hanmerr, Handmer and many more.

Early Notables of the Hanmer family

Prominent amongst the family during the late Middle Ages was

  • Sir David Hanmer, KS, SL (c.1332-1387), an Anglo-Welsh Justice of the King's Bench from Hanmer, Wales, Owain Glyndwr's father-in-law and the father of Glyndwr's chief supporters
  • Sir John Hanmer, 1st Baronet (1590-1624), an English politician who sat in the House of Commons in 1624
  • Sir Thomas Hanmer, 2nd Baronet (1612-1678), an English Royalist politician who sat in the House of Commons in 1640 and from 1669 to 1678
  • Sir John Hanmer, 3rd Baronet (died 1701), a Welsh politician, Member of Parliament for Flint in 1659, he was killed in a duel and left no issue

United States Hanmer migration to the United States +

Many Welsh joined the great migrations to North America in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Like their Scottish and Irish neighbors, many Welsh families left their homeland hoping to find hope and prosperity in a land that the English did not exercise a tight rule over. Those Welsh immigrants that successfully traveled to North America went on to make significant contributions to the rapid development of both Canada and the United States in terms of the settling of land and the establishment of industry. They also added to the rich cultural heritage of both countries. An examination into the immigration and passenger lists has discovered a number of people bearing the name Hanmer:

Hanmer Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • George Hanmer, aged 24, who arrived in Bermuda, (Somers Islands) in 1635 aboard the ship "Truelove" 3
  • Joseph Hanmer, who arrived in New York, NY in 1690 3
Hanmer Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Elizabeth Hanmer, who settled in Maryland in 1729

West Indies Hanmer migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. 4
Hanmer Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Mr. Thomas Hanmer, (b. 1621), aged 14, British settler traveling aboard the ship "William and John" arriving in St Christopher (Saint Kitts) in 1635 5

Contemporary Notables of the name Hanmer (post 1700) +

  • Lee Franklin Hanmer (1871-1961), American director of the recreation department of the Russell Sage Foundation (1912-1937), co-founder of the Boy Scouts of America and later the Campfire Girls of America in 1912
  • William E. Hanmer (1879-1966), American Republican politician, Member of Connecticut State House of Representatives from Wethersfield, 1941-44; Member of Connecticut State Senate 4th District, 1945-46 6
  • Francis Hanmer, American politician, Member of Connecticut State House of Representatives from East Hartford, 1859 6
  • Charles H. Hanmer, American Republican politician, Member of Connecticut State House of Representatives from Wethersfield; Elected 1904 6
  • Andrew J. Hanmer, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from New York, 1944 6
  • Alfred W. Hanmer, American Republican politician, First Selectman of Wethersfield, Connecticut, 1899-1927; Member of Connecticut State House of Representatives from Wethersfield; Elected 1912 6
  • A. B. Hanmer, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Virginia, 1924 6
  • Sir Wyndham Richard Guy Hanmer (b. 1955), 9th Baronet of Hanmer, Welsh peer
  • Sir John Wyndham Edward Hanmer (1928-2008), 8th Baronet of Hanmer, Welsh peer
  • Sir Griffin Wyndham Edward Hanmer (1893-1977), 7th Baronet of Hanmer, Welsh peer
  • ... (Another 9 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

The Hanmer Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Gardez l'honneur
Motto Translation: Keep the honour.

  1. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  5. Pilgrim Ship's of 1600's (Retrieved October 4th 2021 from
  6. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 26) . Retrieved from on Facebook